My milk bottle limbs are blending in with the crowd of pale (yet bare) bodies slowly turning all lobster and rouge. Despite the heat, the word that comes to mind to describe the Parklife weekender is 'snowball'. From its inception in 2010 as a student orientated festival taking place in the student orientated Fallowfield, everything has started to roll forward into a much bigger beast. This weekend marks its first appearance at the significantly scaled up Heaton Park site, and alongside its supersize upgrade comes an almighty change of direction.


Struggling to locate the 'press window', we queue for an hour or so, asking every yellow jacket in sight where the hell we're supposed to be headed. One spritely young thing seems to actually give a shit about his job, and soon enough we're snuck in through a back gate and on our way to join the next queue of dozens for the cash machine - an issue which is entirely our own fault. It's here I get to indulge in a bit of people watching, and subsequently, we realise quite quickly that we're a little bit out of place. One girl's shorts ascend so high up her arse that I can see her lower back tattoo protruding from the bottom of the denim, as the Henleys brigade to my right stare on salivating. There are people walking around fully suited in wellies and rain macs. Baring in mind that this is a daytime event, with no camping and the dryest festival grounds I've ever seen, I'm quite surprised they haven't come along with bloody tents. After a swift burger courtesy of Manchester darlings Almost Famous, we decide its high time we stopped focusing on the clientele and moved onto some of the stages.


Now I don't mind house music, albeit not exactly my forte, however the saviour of today's dance focused line-up comes in the form of a collaborated curation stage belonging to Warehouse Project and promoters Now Wave. The first treat of the day comes in the form of John Talabot, who brings his blend of sun kissed beats and Balearic grooves to an ultimately quite minuscule crowd. It's nice and light, and something to ease my party into the swing of things, but towards the end we decide to go and catch the second half of homegrown up-and-comer Bondax. The barriers are blocked as the tent bulges full, and the sounds coming out sound nothing short of wondrous - we might have gone for the wrong act.

We zig zag back to where we were to see what the situation is with Alunageorge (a confused press coordinator told us a time which was different from the time on the press board, which was different from the time on the programmes, which was different from the time on the screens in the tent). Somewhat expectedly we seem to have missed the duo, probably having taken too long lauding praise on our earlier burgers. Having missed the aforementioned, along with Cyril Hahn who appeared whilst we were queuing, I realise I've missed most of what I aimed to see on Saturday. The previous nights booze fuses with the blaring sun and slight disappointment to result in quite a bit of a sulk, so we find the hill sitting above Heidi's stage and go for a bit of sit down.


This is better really. The music is blaring from the bottom of the hill and the crowd seem much more under the influence. The location is pretty great and it seems to have become the main chillout area of the site. For all of its avoidable inhabitants, the actual aesthetic and feel of the creamfields Parklife set up is brilliant, and there's a lot of effort gone into crafting each specific area to make it all feel quite special. This makes it all the more of a shame that those attending seem intent on excavating their bodies of various fluids all over the art installations. That said, there are some brilliant scenes to be witnessed as people seem to have their first experiences with drugs, and some not so brilliant ones too. After one too many penis sightings we head back to the WHP vs. NW arena to catch Daphni's set.


It's the best of the day so far, Dan Snaith fusing the elements we have come to love from Caribou with much stronger, heavier rhythm. It gets the crowd going a little bit, but you still get the feeling that most would rather be getting ready for Plan B on the main stage. After an extended version of 'Jialong', he touches on Caribou instrumentals as the crowd anticipates (and begs) for a breakout of 'Sun'. It never happens, but all in all it's a great set.


Next up is Four Tet, holding the key to whether today counts as success or failure in my eyes. He's the act I've been most excited to see all day, and he doesn't disappoint. He mixes his own material amongst his personal favourites, and then all of a sudden, the tent is filled with gigantic balloons. Whilst this is fun and I'm probably just a boring, older-than-my-years twat, I can't help but feel it makes the atmosphere a little weird. I've always viewed Four Tet as quite serious and intense music, to be played in a dark room with copious amounts of LSD and blue swathes of light. It goes from Four Tet live to Four Tet soundtracking a summer balloon party, in which most of the crowd are more concerned about getting their ten seconds of fame as they jump and flap at a floating ball. I think I'm just miserable. All in all, it's a stormer of a set, but I'd rather have heard more of Rounds.


We go and get some food and have a bit of a wander as we complain about the woman who started a fight at the bar over a mixed fruit Kopparberg. The bars, and toilets, in fact, are pretty well managed, and this is the first time we've had to queue up for one of the necessities for longer than five minutes. With this, we surrender entry to the headlining Disclosure, with the tent swelling to an alarming capacity. We stand back in the middle of the adjacent field to see if we can witness what the fuss is all about. There's a clever animation of their now famous branded faces, mouthing the words to each track. Jessie Ware makes an appearance and the crowd goes wild. In all honesty, it looks like a pretty good headliner, but we've had enough. We decide that now is the time to tackle the ride home, and hope that tomorrow is a little more exciting. An influx of guitar bands on tomorrow's line-up, partnered with back to workers on Monday morning, hopefully signals a flushing out of some of the lesser dignified species we have come into contact with today.


All hail Sunday. My predictions were correct, and the crowd is (to some degree) more respectable. By setting off earlier we escape the queues and walk straight onto the site, catching an instrumental masterclass performing on the main stage. They go by the name of Riot Jazz - six brass players, one sousaphone, one drummer and a frontman. With the sun once again being in full flow, their unique blend of jazz and ska is the perfect tonic for the hangover engulfing Heaton park. They cover Fleetwood Mac, Jon Bon Jovi and The Human League, but the best moment of the set is an original track in which they all recite; "I've got a sousamaphone, sousamaphone, and that's why the girls won't leave me alone." A project born out of Manchester, they're the perfect start to any festival, and I suggest you check them out wherever you can.


Spirits are much higher after that treat, and despite the colossal news that Savages have dropped out, today's line-up is unbelievably strong. Again, a lot of this is attributed to the perfectly crafted Now Wave tent, yet there are acts all over the show today which deserve a look in. We head straight back to where we've been all weekend to check out, Toro y Moi. The strength of the sound is incredible when you consider the instrumentation involved, everything sounding much harder live than it does on the album. 'New Beat' is especially brilliant, and the whole thing just oozes summer. The 80s synth vibe brings comparisons with the likes of Twin Shadow, yet it all sounds a little more intricate than their contemporaries.


Next up is King Krule, who has to be one of the hardest acts on offer to actually define. Opening with an a capella number as the band slowly filter in at different stages, there are bits of Alex Turner lyricism, Plan B styling and Madness/The Jam backing tracks. It all just seems a little more individual though, and the vocal execution partnered with King Krule's attitude really makes it seem authentic. The two guitarists seem a little below par when compared to the drummer, but all in all its a really good soundtrack to the weather outside. The break in this tent that falls from Savages' cancellation offers time to have a breather in the rays, so we make our way back to our favourite hill, the stage below now being occupied by David Rodigan's Ram Jam line-up.


We're not the only ones doing so though, as drum and bass favourite on the bill Dj EZ comes to the fore. It makes not only for brilliant background noise, but brings those lunatic dance moves straight back onto the grass. There's one particular Travolta up ahead, donning a green outfit and bright orange hair. As EZ opens with Daniel Bedingfield and Craig David, he can barely contain his excitement. If normal people throw triangles and squares, this lad is going for dodecahedrons, and he responds enthusiastically to a call for stompers to unite. The choice of tracks is pretty spot on, with DMX and Major Lazer sitting nicely alongside classic garage, yet soon those pockets of genitalia pop up all over the descent to the stage. I decide to leave the flake I'd been saving from my ice cream and head back to Now Wave to check out Liars.


I've heard of Liars here and there, and had it on good authority that they're a pretty good band, but I'd never really listened to them much. That just made it all the more exciting when they picked up the slight mess that was Parklife and dropped it on its head. Consisting of vocals (and synth), keyboards (and synth) and drums (and synth) the sound that they produced was nothing short of phenomenal. Again the tent wasn't the most packed, but this time people were actually dancing - comparably well. What they produced was something along the lines of slacker electronica, with hints of Crystal Castles which had been much more refined. The soundscape created for a trio is out of this world, and everything just seems incredibly interesting. My friend thought they looked like a trio of Harrison Koisser, Johnny Depp and an old university tutor with bleach blonde hair, yet somehow, with the frontman pulling off some erratic moves, the image just added to the overall feel. New track 'Mess on a Mission' was a highlight. They were by a million miles the best band of the weekend so far.


Granted, we had spent most of our time in the Now Wave tent already, but it was at this point that it became hard to consider anything else. Jurassic 5 were playing the main stage, and TNGHT were headlining the Hudson Mohawke tent, but a continuing line-up of TOY, Johnny Marr, Everything Everything and the Horrors was pretty hard to argue with.

The first of the four were pretty great, Toy bringing psych to the Sunday. I was expecting everything to be a little more drone based than the quite poppy riffs that were on offer, but the overall power of the sound made up for that. It's somewhat of a shame to see Iggy Azealea's main stage slot flowing into all areas of the festival when this tent is barely a quarter full, yet it's to be expected nonetheless. A quick trip to the now quiet amenities render us fully equipped for the final three, as we disappointedly chew burnt Churros with not-chocolate sauce whilst waiting for the Smiths legend to arrive.


I wasn't expecting all that much from Johnny Marr after being a little underwhelmed by his recent solo album, but I'd like to take this opportunity to hold my hands up and say that I got it wrong. His inclusion as special guest on the line-up was an absolute master stroke, bringing the tent to its fullest capacity of the whole day. The solo tracks sounded pretty brilliant live, but as we already knew, it was the Smiths covers that really get things going. 'Stop me', 'How Soon is Now' and 'Bigmouth' were all absolutely golden, but 'There is a Light' obviously stole the show. There's an outpouring of emotion flowing down from the stage as Marr prances around better than most of those half his age that had appeared today, and it was quite obvious he was loving the covers. It seemed like a bit of a come and get me plea to be sent via video link to Mr. Morrissey, but that just made it all the more special. I can't say a word against the set, Marr wasn't even playing the same game as the rest.


Unfortunately for Everything Everything, it was their job to follow that. The crowd didn't go down too much though, proving the level of their success off the second album. Their recent support slots with Muse have obviously influenced too, as they just seem bigger in every way. A bit of a comparison could be made with Alt-j, not only in the art/intelligence style of music they produce, but also in the path that their careers have taken. Going from local favourites to future arena headlines, their half Man Alive, half Arc set works incredibly well, with the debut featured 'Tin' standing out along with 'Torso of the Week'. It feels like quite a definitive performance for the band, as they lap up the appreciation coming from their hometown fans.


The final (and best) set of the day goes to the Horrors, playing to an infuriatingly small crowd. The aesthetic of the band has been discussed on numerous occasion, but the look of the whole outfit when they come to the stage just seems to fill those watching with admiration. They craft an unbelievably high calibre set from both Primary Colours and Skying, touching upon personal favourites 'Scarlet Fields' and 'Endless Blue' without putting a foot wrong. It's a shame how wasted they are on the minuscule crowd, but more credit to them for remaining entirely enthusiastic and sounding fucking brilliant. Unfortunately there were no new tracks on show, but that was made up for with a stunning rendition of 'Everybody's Moving Further Away'. Throughout their career they have consistently grown into a much better, much more interesting entity, and on tonight's evidence, they're only going to expand further.

Sunday was a totally different event to Saturday, an entirely better one at that. The fact remains though, that if bands like the Horrors aren't packing out tents with a headline slot, it's probably not going to continue with an interest in guitar orientated music. It's an incredible shame, as Johnny Marr, Liars and Farris & Co still managed to put on absolutely terrific sets, but Parklife's transformation into a weekender with a piss up priority seems already complete. If it goes any further that way next year, they might as well plonk Will.I.Am on top of Salford precinct with a vuvuzela and some unplugged turntables.